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Smokies farmer ‘has no assets’

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A LLANDYSUL farmer with a string of convictions for food hygiene offences will have to pay nothing concerning the money made from his illegal business dealing in ‘smokies’.

Carmelo Gale pocketed large sums of money from his filthy ‘slaughterhouse’ in which he butchered then blow-torched sheep carcasses to make the illegal meat.

However, the authorities’ attempts to get at the proceeds of his criminal activities have come up with nothing.

In 2017, Gale received a suspended prison sentence of eight months’ jail.


Found in the back of Carmelo Gale’s van

“Smokies” are made when carcasses of animals (usually sheep or goats) are gutted, shorn, and hung before being scorched or “smoked” with a blowtorch.

Smokies have been illegal across the European Union since 1987.

Gale’s original arrest and conviction followed an incident in which his van was stopped by Police near Swansea in 2017. When the unrefrigerated vehicle was inspected, 11 blackened sheep carcasses were found inside, together with bags of other animal parts.

In a subsequent search of Gale’s farm in Llandysul, officers found evidence of Gale’s illegal slaughter operation and the production of smokies.

Gale has previous convictions for 14 offences. All bar one relate to illegal meat production.

At the 2017 sentencing hearing, the Court was told that Gale believed that smokies should be legalised and there was no harm in their production in unsanitary and unregulated slaughterhouses such as his own.

Following that conviction, Gale’s business affairs were probed by authorities seeking to recover the proceeds of crime from him.


Gale hung torched corpses outside

He appeared before Swansea Crown Court as the Court determined an application about the recovery effort.

The Court was told that although Gale had made more than £100,000 from his crimes, he has no realisable assets in his name against which recovery can be made.

A payment by Gale of £30,000 towards prosecution costs was, his barrister told the Court, the product of a family whip-round.

Gale has twelve months to make the payment.

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Cardigan site manager awarded for house building excellence

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On Friday 6 September 2019, Gareth Davies of T I Davies & Son won a Seal of Excellence in the second round of the NHBC Pride in the Job Awards 2019 held at Cardiff City Hall. He was honoured for his dedication to building homes of very high quality before an audience of 300 leading figures in the Welsh house building industry for his site Penparc in Cardigan, Ceredigion.

Now in its 39th year, Pride in the Job, organised by NHBC, the UK’s leading warranty and insurance provider for new homes, are the most highly regarded in the house-building industry. They recognise and reward a site manager’s dedication to achieving the highest standards in house building, and their commitment to building homes of outstanding quality.

Site managers are automatically entered into the competition if they are working on a site registered for NHBC warranty. The competition is free and the winners are decided by a panel of expert judges making site visits; Gareth showed impressive dedication to achieving the highest quality on his site.

Commenting on the awards, NHBC Wales and West Regional Director, Paul Edwards said: “A site manager’s job is one of the toughest in house building and they carry out a role that has many hats. They are the pivotal part in building someone’s home, ensuring it is built on time and on budget while maintaining high quality and the safety of everyone onsite.

“To reach this level of the competition means you are at the very top of the house-building industry. Gareth is without doubt building homes to an exceptional standard and is a worthy winner.”

For the full list of winners please visit: www.nhbc.co.uk/AwardsandEvents/Pride-in-the-job/

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BBC Unsung Hero Awards are back!

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BBC Wales is searching for a great volunteer in Wales who’s made a difference in the last 12 months. Nominations are open today (17 September) for the 2019 BBC Wales Unsung Hero award.

The BBC Wales Unsung Hero award celebrates the most inspiring, dynamic and dedicated volunteers driving participation in grassroots sports and fitness activities in Wales.

Last year, volunteer Asa Waite from Newport was named the BBC Wales Unsung Hero. Asa is a basketball coach and runs training sessions and games for young people.

Asa said: “Winning the BBC Wales Unsung Hero award last year was such an honour. The award is something I would never have dreamt of and couldn’t achieve without the support of the participants, parents and guardians. All the other nominees were amazing so I really feel honoured. Winning the award has given me such confidence in what I am doing and made me realise that I am making a real difference to not just local young people but Newport as a whole.”

From volunteer fitness instructors who offer classes in communities, to the person who spends their free time running the social media accounts for dance clubs, or the steward who turns up every week to cheer on the runners in the weekly 5km. BBC Wales is looking for your local sporting superhero who has an inspiring story to tell.

Geoff Williams, Head of Sport at BBC Wales says: “The Unsung Hero award is all about honouring the people who show up, bring people together and really make a difference in their community. Volunteers are a hugely important aspect of any sport and it’s fantastic to give these people the recognition they truly deserve.”

Winner of BBC Wales’ Unsung Hero award will receive the award at the Wales Sport Awards ceremony on Tuesday, 10 December at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport.

The winner will then represent Wales in the BBC Get Inspired Unsung Hero joining other winners from Scotland, Northern Ireland and English regions. The overall UK winner will receive their award at this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony live on BBC One.

To nominate your BBC Wales Unsung Hero by video, audio, online webform or via email, simply visit www.bbc.co.uk/unsunghero or www.walessportawards.co.uk. Entries close on Sunday 20 October at midnight and the shortlist will be revealed in the days leading up to national BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony in December.

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Donate A Gate Scheme Launched

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Life is punctuated by occasions and events to be marked, remembered and commemorated. For some of these, it may be more appropriate to do something that has a longer-lasting effect than a card or flowers. Speaking on behalf of Ceredigion County Councils Public Rights of Way team, Eifion Jones says: “We have regular requests to install memorial or commemorative benches along paths in the county, and whilst there are a few locations where this is appropriate and useful, in the most part something as formal as a garden bench can be intrusive and out of place in our wild and remote landscape.” With this in mind, the team have launched a ‘Donate a Gate’ scheme.

The idea came about after a member of the public got in touch to see if they could ‘adopt’ a path as a unique and unusual gift to mark the wedding of some close friends. The couple are keen walkers regularly visiting Ceredigion to use the Rights of Way network, and their imaginative friend thought that contributing to the upkeep of these would be a fitting way to mark their special day. Not being something that had been done in Ceredigion before, it seemed wrong to turn down the chance of being able to carry out work which, without this donation, may not have been possible right now. The team came up with the suggestion of buying a pedestrian gate to replace a ‘past its best’ kissing gate on the Coast Path.

Councillor Rhodri Evans is the Cabinet member with responsibility for Economy and Regeneration. He said: “A simple replacement such as this can allow access to more people in line with Ceredigion County Council’s commitment to providing the least restrictive access wherever possible. The team’s innovative idea of launching the donate scheme is a great way for people to contribute to the Rights of Way network in a unique and special way while the team and its volunteers can continue to repair and protect the coastal path; doing their best to make it fit for use by anyone wanting to enjoy our wonderful countryside views.”

Installed by the Rights of Way Volunteers, the gate sits on the Coast Path looking over Ynys Lochtyn. As such it gives the newlyweds a stunning location to visit as part of their walks, something tangible they’ve contributed to and a place to visit to remind them of their special day.

If you’re looking for a way to mark an occasion, remember a loved one, promote your business or for an unusual gift, then you could consider donating towards a piece of furniture or stretch of path. The scheme is not restricted to gates and will include waymarking posts, bridges and flights of steps at the discretion of the Rights of Way team. These could be on a path which is near to your home, has a special significance to someone or indeed the iconic and famous Ceredigion Coast Path. A plaque can be placed on the item with appropriate wording recognising the donation as part of the installation process.

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